Xabi Alonso has quickly emerged as the ideal successor to Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool – and Bayer Leverkusen are unlikely to oppose the move if an approach is made.
Alonso, 42, enjoyed a highly successful spell at Anfield during his playing days but left Merseyside long before Klopp arrived.
The club have won both the Premier League and the Champions League during the German’s tenure, but he will stand down from his role at the end of the season.
Speculation regarding Klopp’s successor is already rife and Alonso’s fine body of work at Leverkusen, who are currently top of the Bundesliga, has naturally seen him touted as the ideal candidate to take on the Liverpool vacancy.
A new report from BBC Sport has outlined that Leverkusen have privately expressed to Alonso that they would not stand in the Spaniard’s way if he were offered the chance to coach one of Europe’s elite teams.
It’s also understood that there is no buy-out clause in his contract, which runs until the summer of 2026.
The report further outlines that Alonso’s plan has always been to return to Liverpool or Real Madrid should his spell at Leverkusen herald success.
The former midfielder was also a very popular figure at the Bernabeu before joining Bayern Munich in 2014.
It adds that Alonso already had designs on stepping into management while he was still a player and Pep Guardiola’s presence at Bayern was a big factor in his move so he could work under him and learn from one of the best.
While Leverkusen’s stance may boost Liverpool’s hopes of prising Alonso away from Germany, his services are likely to be coveted by clubs from elsewhere.
A number of elite coaches are likely to be on the market this summer and other high-profile vacancies could yet arise.
Klopp, who has spent over eight-and-a-half years at Anfield, sent shockwaves through the Premier League on Friday when he announced his exit.
He explained: “I can understand that it’s a shock for a lot of people in this moment, when you hear it for the first time, but obviously I can explain it – or at least try to explain it.
“I love absolutely everything about this club, I love everything about the city, I love everything about our supporters, I love the team, I love the staff. I love everything. But that I still take this decision shows you that I am convinced it is the one I have to take.
“It is that I am, how can I say it, running out of energy. I have no problem now, obviously, I knew it already for longer that I will have to announce it at one point, but I am absolutely fine now. I know that I cannot do the job again and again and again and again.
“After the years we had together and after all the time we spent together and after all the things we went through together, the respect grew for you, the love grew for you and the least I owe you is the truth – and that is the truth.”